Categories
fire geology mixes music quotations

Kool G Ran It For Teen

there isn’t really a theme to my 14th granite mix, but one thing i tried to do was to keep the tracks short. here’s the mix and after that a table with track listing and then some comments and links and stuff below that.

granite 14

Granite Mix 14
Artist Title Album
John Cale King Harry The Academy In Peril
Nino Rota Notturno O Mattutino La Dolce Vita – Soundtrack
Ralph Vaughan-Williams The Bell Ringers Epithamalion
Joseph Spence Lay Down My Sword & Shield Gospel At Newport
Larry Young Alive Lawrence Of Newark
Armando Trovajoli El Negro Zumbón hit song from film Anna
Captain Beefheart I Love You Big Dummy Lick My Decals Off Baby
Ahmad Jamal I’ll Take Romance/My Funny Valentine Ahmad Jamal At The Blackhawk
Howe Gelb Belly Of Fire Down Home 2002
King Curtis Cuban Twilight Have Tenor Sax Will Blow
Kool G Rap 4,5,6 4,5,6
Federico Mompou Impresiones Intimas No. 9 Gitano Impresiones, Scenes, Charmes, Fêtes Lointaines

the academy In peril is not a particularly well-known work in the john cale canon and is almost as famous for its record sleeve as it is for its music. unfortunately i don’t own a copy of the original album but have a later re-release which doesn’t have the half-gatefold with the cut-outs that the original had but I have seen that original cover in fact the 1st time i heard the album it was at a friend’s house near uxbridge or thereabouts maybe ruislip and he had the sleeve i remember it well. the other thing that is well known about the cover is that it would have been worth a lot more if it had been in black and white which is something that the song a dream from the lou reed/john cale album songs for drella teaches us.

a vast expanse of the roman countryside, to one side are the ruins of the san felice aqueduct, towering arches that come striding across the land. two thousand years ago those arches brought water to the city, but now there are many gaps where whole sections of the aqueduct have fallen in. directly in front is a soccer field, the goal posts dwarfed by the height of the aqueduct. in the distance the sound of motors is heard. a speck in the sky grows rapidly larger. it is a helicopter, and beneath it is a hanging figure. a second helicopter follows close behind. as the ‘copters pass over the field the figure suspended below can be clearly seen. a large statue of christ the labourer swings from a cable. the shadow of the ‘copter and this incongruous figure flashes across the walls of the aqueduct. the helicopters pass on.

federico fellini – screenplay for la dolce vita

why does ralph vaughan williams haunt me the way he does? Is it something to do with the ark tempers of medieval lines? who can tell in this age of imaginativeness?

as soon as i heard joseph spence’s take on utterance i was bewitched as if i had crossed several salt seas of despondency and come at last to fresh water.

at a certain time freedom mixed with sonority to produce several subversely subservient dramaturgy/diatribe/dialogue/dichotomy diptychs

el negro zumbón is complicated. usually attributed to silvano mangana she only mimed to the song in the film anna. it was written by italian composer armando trovajoli and the female singer is flo sandon’s

i’m grateful to samuel andreyev for his fascinating work on captain beefheart and the magic band – definitely one of the joys of youtube which despite my earlier diatribes i am overall in admiration for for its democratic all-inclusiveness. i certainly look forward to more from samuel.

maybe i’ve already written about the time i went to see ahmad jamal the only time i saw him but i’m proud to be able to say even that and if i haven’t written about it then no doubt i will repeat/not repeat it again in the future when my marbles start to lose their shine.

i’ve been to 3 howe gelb gigs but the 1st was something special. during the interval i was standing outside with my friend neil armstrong not the astronaut but maybe even greater in many ways. there was no-one else around and suddenly howe stepped out of the main entrance. he was about 40 metres away from us he looked around with a bewildered expression and then went back into the building. strange.

here’s a fantastic clip of king curtis

as a weather report fan in the mid-70s if i was to choose a favourite track mysterious traveller would be one of the top tracks in my opinion from that era and when i first heard 4,5,6 from kool g rap i recognised the sample straight away. it’s not one of the highlights of my hip-hop collection but is just in the end another of the great tracks that came out in the mid-90s an era that i have covered in the past.

finally what do i find so great about these gentle piano pieces that the catalan composer dreamed scored and deployed. apparently some say that there are superior representations of these pieces by more accomplished pianists than mompou was himself. to my mind who is going to interpret someone’s work better than that person themselves? i don’t know i just don’t get it.

Categories
fire quotations

1863 A Sherman To Be

I’m in the middle of reading William Tecumseh Sherman‘s Memoirs Volume 1 and it put me in mind of the cards we used to get as kids in the early 60s. I think they were from bubblegum packets. They were pretty brutal pictures and it seems amazing now that something like that could be given away with sweets, though they were educational in a growing up sort of way. There was another series about a Martian invasion. I particularly remember one of the pictures being of a boy watching in horror as his dog is burnt to death by the raygun of a Martian.

Some time ago I found some of the American Civil War pictures on the internet and thanks to whoever put those up. I’ve selected a few of the images to show you what I’m talking about. Look away if you’re squeamish.

civilwar1

civilwar2

civilwar3

civilwar4

civilwar5

Sherman’s account does not dwell on such lurid details. Commanding officers cannot afford to be squeamish. For him it was a job that had to be done and his only interest was to make sure that it was done as well as he possibly could. Here is an excerpt from his account of the battle of Shiloh.

Then arose the severest musketry-fire I ever heard, and lasted some
twenty minutes, when this splendid regiment had to fall back. This
green point of timber is about five hundred yards east of Shiloh
meeting-home, and it was evident here was to be the struggle. The
enemy could also be seen forming his lines to the south. General
McClernand sending to me for artillery, I detached to him the three
guns of Wood’s battery, with which he speedily drove them back,
and, seeing some others to the rear, I sent one of my staff to
bring them forward, when, by almost providential decree, they
proved to be two twenty-four pound howitzers belonging to
McAlister’s battery, and served as well as guns ever could be.

This was about 2 p.m. The enemy had one battery close by Shiloh,
and another near the Hamburg road, both pouring grape and canister
upon any column of troops that advanced upon the green point of
water-oaks. Willich’s regiment had been repulsed, but a whole
brigade of McCook’s division advanced beautifully, deployed, and
entered this dreaded wood. I ordered my second brigade (then
commanded by Colonel T. Kilby Smith, Colonel Smart being wounded)
to form on its right, and my fourth brigade, Colonel Buckland, on
its right; all to advance abreast with this Kentucky brigade before
mentioned, which I afterward found to be Rousseau’s brigade of
McCook’s division. I gave personal direction to the twenty-four
pounder guns, whose well-directed fire first silenced the enemy’s
guns to the left, and afterward at the Shiloh meeting-house.

Rousseau’s brigade moved in splendid order steadily to the front,
sweeping every thing before it, and at 4 p.m. we stood upon the
ground of our original front line; and the enemy was in full
retreat.

Categories
fire literature politics

there is no coming conflagration?

i like the way in my cd collection that my music nestles between different artists depending on which name i categorise myself under. with neureille i’m there between meshell ndegeocello and nico which seems pretty cool and then with robert vasey i snuggle between sharon van etten and ralph vaughan williams. so if i have to come up with another band name i’ll go for moling. that’s not too bad really. it’s easier to pronounce than my current effort,

one of the things i learnt today is that ralph vaughan williams set a number of verses by walt whitman to music dona nobis pacem for example. i also learnt that rvw fought during world war 1 having initially enlisted as a private/stretcher-bearer although he was old enough to have got dispensation. i’m reading 2 books at the moment 1 about ww1 which is hg wells’ mr britling sees it through which i’ve read before and is a good way of getting in to the mindset of what it was actually like back then and then there’s william t vollman’s book europe central which is reaching back to ww2 from the future but wtv is good at doing that.

if you look at certain factors leading up to 1914 and similarly to 1939 then both of these events seem inevitable. but at the time it was easy to have an optimistic faith in human progress that was unable to believe in the latent possibilities of horror. hopefully we’re not right now just entering a phase like that. all the 60 years of my life it’s seemed like it could happen pretty much just any time.

having also just finished reading philip k dick’s the man in the high castle which is about what would have happened if the axis powers had won ww2, i hope that this is not an omen but if it does happen then you read it first here, or if not i wrote it first here.

Categories
film fire

the people vs youtube

I’ve just deleted my entire youtube and google account which has wiped out some 7 or 8 years’ worth of work and a whole load of videos a lot of which had a lot of hits. Not that my own stuff was particularly popular, I didn’t have any video that I’d made which had more than 1,000 views. The most was about 890 or so. But some of the videos had thousands upon thousands of views and there was stuff that a lot of people appreciated over the years. It’s sad but youtube have pissed me off so much that I couldn’t take any more. I don’t know what this means, but sometimes it’s nice to be so destructive. Google has instantly wiped everything and within a few short minutes their search engine has eliminated the links that would have been there mere moments ago. Probably some other search engines will try to cling on to the past.

Basically it has become some sort of totaliarianism which relates to a lot of the ability to manipulate the masses which is the dark side of the world wide web, moving nearer and nearer to the concept of Big Brother whereby we are forced into conforming to the set pattern.

The only alternative I can contemplate at the moment is to gradually restore my videos within this blog screening the films myself. It won’t have the reach that the ubiquity of youtube has provided but it will be clean and more and more that becomes more important to me than the broader audience.

Categories
ancestry birds fire wells

something out of nothing

another stabilising post there are reasons why i need to be unprolific at the moment. a chance to exhibit a couple of songs that i demoed some time ago for various reasons such as back up and to the top.

the first is called fey and is a song i wrote about three years ago i was also reading a book called opening the old testament by katharine dell and there are some old testament references. i could just as easily use gilgamesh and probably have sometime in the past. don’t get me started on the rig veda.

then there’s a version of a song of mine called ex nihil abundancia which i’ve done another demo of. this one is a fairly rough and ready live one that i did with laura lambell which we seemed to have created on sunday april 25 2010 at 16.20. it’s nice to know when things happened. this has some elements of south american history but it’s never made obvious which they are you’ll just have to take my word for it. i wrote a song called ladorada around the same time which was likewise.

fey

ex nihil abundancia

i was also going to add another demo of a song called minerva’s song which is about forests and loss a subject we pondered last night with my friends lance cross and ian powell but i’ve decided to hold it for later as i want to try to add a retrospective track or two to fill it out.

Categories
fire trees

In Memory Of Andrew Goodwin Part 1

I am planning a few posts to commemorate the life of my old friend Andrew Goodwin who tragically died as a result of a fire in his apartment in Berkeley, California a couple of weeks ago. Andrew’s fiancée, Sandy has created an online memorial.

For now I’m just going to post a photo from our first gig at the Oranges & Lemons in Oxford sometime in 1978.

andrew1

And also a home recording of a song which I wrote back in 2008 on the night I heard of the death of another friend of mine. The feeling and some of the words (particularly the last line) express some of my emotions related to Andrew’s death.

I Remember

Categories
fire literature may micromuseum quotations sea

Micromuseum 10

Another book addition to the micromuseum catalogue. This one dates from 1977 and is a beguiling publication. I had this book lying around (on top of a fender twin reverb to be precise) because I was going to do this post about it and a friend was round and she kept being drawn to it. It’s a poem illustrated with artwork. The poem is quite long and is by Wallace Stevens. Its inspiration was Picasso‘s painting vieux guitariste aveugle. Stevens’ poem is called The Man With The Blue Guitar and Hockney’s etchings are entitled The Blue Guitar. The project was devised by Hockney in the summer of 1976 while he was on holiday on Fire Island, New York.

To give some sort of notion of the book I have selected a few random clips of verse and scanned 3 of the illustrations. The concept of a great poem illustrated by great art is a strong one. There are probably some other books like that around, I will investigate, but if there are I can’t imagine that any could be better than this. I’ll let you know.

Things as they are have been destroyed
Have I? Am I a man that is dead

At a table at which the food is cold?
Is my thought a memory, not alive?

hockney01

Slowly the ivy on the stones
Becomes the stones. Women become

The cities, children become the fields
And men in waves become the sea.

hockney02

Dew-dapper clapper-traps, blazing
From crusty stacks above machines.

Ecce, Oxidia is the seed
Dropped out of this amber-ember pod,

Oxidia is the soot of fire,
Oxidia is Olympia.

hockney03

Finally, these are the last words of the book.

Type set in 11pt. Electra Linotype
Printed in England on Abbey Mills laid paper by the Scolar Press
Published by Petersburg Press, London and New York

Categories
fire literature quotations

Charlus

To go back, now, to the remaining events of the year 1719.

The Marquise de Charlus, sister of Mezieres, and mother of the Marquis de
Levi, who has since become a duke and a peer, died rich and old.  She was
the exact picture of an “old clothes” woman and was thus subject to many
insults from those who did not know her, which she by no means relished.
To relieve a little the seriousness of these memoirs, I will here relate
an amusing adventure of which she was heroine.

She was very avaricious, and a great gambler.  She would have passed the
night up to her knees in water in order to play.  Heavy gambling at
lansquenet was carried on at Paris in the evening, at Madame la Princesse
de Conti’s.  Madame de Charlus supped there one Friday, between the
games, much company being present.  She was no better clad than at other
times, and wore a head-dress, in vogue at that day, called commode, not
fastened, but put on or taken off like a wig or a night-cap.  It was
fashionable, then, to wear these headdresses very high.

Madame de Charlus was near the Archbishop of Rheims, Le Tellier.  She
took a boiled egg, that she cracked, and in reaching for some salt, set
her head dress on fire, at a candle near, without perceiving it. The
Archbishop, who saw her all in flames, seized the head-dress and flung it
upon the ground.  Madame de Charlus, in her surprise, and indignant at
seeing her self thus uncovered, without knowing why, threw her egg in the
Archbishop’s face, and made him a fine mess.

Nothing but laughter was heard; and all the company were in convulsions
of mirth at the grey, dirty, and hoary head of Madame de Charlus, and the
Archbishop’s omelette; above all, at the fury and abuse of Madame de
Charlus, who thought she had been affronted, and who was a long time
before she would understand the cause, irritated at finding herself thus
treated before everybody.  The head-dress was burnt, Madame la Princesse
de Conti gave her another, but before it was on her head everybody had
time to contemplate her charms, and she to grow in fury.

Saint-Simon Memoirs

Categories
angels birds fire insects literature music nonsense sea spider trees

mr knight

I am halfway or more through my new album which I won’t name yet, but I thought I’d do a quick creature head count.

1st song

a flesh hound (whatever that is)

2nd song

another hound (seems to be a bit of a theme – not intended)
sparrows

3rd song

red wolf
bees
mountain lion

4th song

hare
fish
birds

5th song

raven

6th song

tsetse fly

7th song

none

8th song

crow
dragonfly
spider

9th song

none

Eventually I’ll do a whole thesaurus of the animals, birds, fish etc. that populate the world of my song lyrics, not to mention the trees, flowers and assorted inanimate objects. When I am ill and lie abed with 2 fat wishes I’ll be fed and let the leaden moments pass each choosing singly their own path.

Instead of a basic guitar/bass/drums core the new songs are underpinned simply by 2 acoustic guitars. There is a 10th song which won’t be on the album but is a new version of an old song and this moves matters in a further fish like direction. Everton Hartley as always is the 2nd guitarist. We also recorded a dozen or so minutes of the instrumental music that we play together under the name Ashinosya. Here’s an excerpt from that to give you a flavour of the 2 guitars by themselves.

Instrumental

Categories
birds fire music

Firebird Pica Pica

Some 10 to 15 years ago I used to spend frequent evenings playing piano with my friend Dominic Black. Neither of us are particularly good piano players. Dominic could sight-read better than I could, but I was the more proficient improviser. Our most well-thumbed music book was The World Of Piano Duets which were arrangements made by Denes Agay. He wrote one hell of a lot of best-selling piano arrangements and his influence on the lives of innumerable people must have been immense. He died in 2007 – here’s an obituary.

All the pieces in the book are great, but my favourite has to be the Lullaby which is taken from a section of Stravinsky‘s Firebird Suite. Last year I downloaded MuseScore and messed about with a bit of music notation. One of the things I did was to take Mr Agay’s two piano parts and arrange them for 2 guitars instead. The plan was for me to perform the result with Everton Hartley but we still haven’t got around to doing it yet. In order to practise it I need to use my loop pedal. It would be much better to be played live with 2 guitars, and I apologise to anyone listening to it for my not having the patience to work at it a bit harder and play it better.

Lullaby

On the subject of Stravinsky I would like to recommend a great book which is The Apollonian Clockwork by Louis Andriessen and Elmer Schönberger. Musicologically it’s a bit over my head most of the time, but even in the middle of those sections the love at the base of the book shines through.

Here’s the last bit of the chapter that is called The Firebird as Magpie.

True renewal is only possible by the grace of tradition. But tradition is something different from convention.
‘[Conventions] differ from traditions in that they are modified rather than developed.’
In music, it is a good tradition to break conventions.

And finally a chance for me to embed an excerpt from a film of the Pina Bausch choreographed Rite of Spring. Particularly apt for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere as our patient wait for that season nears an end.